Great works of art often seem to create themselves. In the case of Roots, Vol.1, Merle Haggard's follow up to his critically acclaimed If I Could Only Fly, it was more like spontaneous combustion. This stunning exercise in classic country form resulted from the chance discovery that Norman Stephens, original guitarist for Haggard's lifelong idol Lefty Frizzell, lived just miles from Haggard's California home. Within days of their initial meeting, Haggard and Stephens were recording together, revisiting the songs and striving to evoke the almost mythic atmosphere of Lefty's era. Roots marks a distinctive and unparalleled upshift in Haggard's musical life--a journey backwards that ends in the future.